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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
Adobe Bridge is one of the best programs you can use with InDesign, and even better is Mini Bridge, the cool panel that brings Bridge right into InDesign that Adobe added a few versions ago. I'm using InDesign CC here, and I'm going to open up Mini Bridge from the window menu. It's not part of any of the default workspaces. If you're using InDesign CC, and you don't see Mini Bridge, that's probably because you did not install Bridge. Once you do install Bridge, then restart InDesign, and you'll see Mini Bridge. Mini Bridge brings the most useful aspects of Bridge right into InDesign, as I said.
Now I want to show you. A couple tricks that I like to use with Mini Bridge. First of all, I hate having to navigate through all of these folder hierarchies looking for the things that I want. I almost always will immediately jump to Favorites. You get to Favorites in Mini Bridge by clicking on this dropdown menu and choosing Favorites. Favorites are installed by default with Bridge and you can remove some and add some, but what you want to do is add the folders that you use all the time to favorites. Like, for example, client projects or maybe you have a folder called clip art.
Put those right over into Favorites. The folder that I want to add is Client Projects. And I know that I have a client projects inside my Emory Conception. Home folder, so I'm going to select Client files, and then go to this drop down menu and choose Add to Favorites at the bottom. You can do this from Bridge as well. Whatever you see in Bridge Favorites will appear in mini Bridges Favorites. And vice versa. Now when I go to Favorites, there's Client Files.
Unlike Bridge, you don't see sub-folders when you select a parent folder in mini-Bridge. This section over here will only show individual stand alone files. In other words, if you want to see all the different folders that you have in Client Files you have to keep double clicking here on the left. Or you can click this little right pointing chevron over here. And now if I want to go to the Lost Highway project I would select that and I would see that there is an InDesign file here and then there is also a folder called Original Links.
And if I select that I can see all the links in here. Once you are seeing actual images or files in Mini Bridge, then you can simply drag and drop them right from here. It's a lot faster than going to file place, which in the Macintosh you can't even see the preview very often if you're trying to select more than one file at a time. But here if I wanted bring over flower I can just drag and drop it right onto the screen. Or I could select multiple items, and drag and drop them. In other words, if you're at that point of a project where you're dragging over lots of images.
Consider using Mini Bridge rather than the file place dialogue box. And here's another cool feature of Mini Bridge. Let's say that you're working on a document, and you want to bring over an image that you used in a different document. You don't remember the file name for that. You don't remember where it was saved, but you do remember where the actual InDesign file was. Like, for example, I want to bring over something from client files that I know was in the Academy project that I did. So I'm going to select Academy and there is the InDesign file.
And I can see a preview of the InDesign file. And you know what I want to bring in is I want to bring in this little wooden stick figure into my document. But how do I find out what that stick figures name to where it's stored? Well you see this little link icon? You'll see this in all of your InDesign files starting with version 4.0 and later. If you right-click on here, you can choose Show Linked Files. Even if all of the linked images were scattered in different folders on your hard drive and on the server, you know, if they weren't all packaged neatly in one links folder This brings them all into the same window.
This is a fantastic feature. It's also available in Bridge, by the way, but here I'm just going to reduce the number of thumbnails so that I can see better, I can just scroll. And there it is. This is the guy that I want to bring over. There's my figure. And finally, let's talk about bringing over multiple images from Collections. Collections can only be built in Bridge. And if you want to learn more about Collections and Bridge in general, I have a course here on Lynda called 10 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About Bridge. But collections are fantastically useful because they let you create folders full of aliases of other images.
Instead of having to duplicate the same image, in multiple folders, one in client logos, one in the project folder where you use that client logo, you can just make collections in Bridge, and not have to actually move files around. So I have created a folder called, New Catalogue Flowers. That collects all of the pictures that I've taken or that our photographer has taken and that are stored in various folders on my hard drive into one collection. And that collection is available in Mini Bridge. From this drop-down menu where I've selected favorites before, I'll choose Collections.
And I'm going to go to new catalog flowers, and here are the three flowers, your, three of these flowers that I want to add to this catalog. I'm going to Shift click them all, because I want to bring them all at the same time, drag them over here, then you have to like, click one more time, and then they start appearing. I'm going to undo, so that all three are still loaded. And this time, as I drag, I'm going to tap the up arrow twice. So that I can place all three at about the size that I need.
And then I can go ahead, and start rearranging them, and getting them to fit in the catalog exactly as I need. So all the tricks that you know about InDesign for placing multiple images can be combined with all of the wonderful techniques that you can use with bridge within this very neglected panel in Indesign called Minibridge.
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